Real Music & Real Estate . . .

Yiddishe Cup’s bandleader, Bert Stratton, is Klezmer Guy.

He knows about the band biz and – check this out – the real estate biz, too.

You may not care about the real estate biz. Hey, you may not care about the band biz. (See you.)

This is a blog with a gamy twist. It features tenants with snakes and skunks, and musicians with smoked fish in their pockets.

Stratton has written op-eds for the Wall Street Journal, New York Times and Washington Post.



My main job is getting the rent money in the bank. A tenant put $640 cash in the drop box at the apartment building. Thirty-two $20-dollar bills. The money never made it into my hands. I was in Peru. That didn’t help.

screw upI should get rid of that drop box. It’s a thin metal box with a cheesy diary-like lock. The lock wasn’t broken. From now on, each tenant mails the rent, just like back in the Stone Age. Or maybe I should simply put a sign on the box “no cash” and still permit checks.

I believe the tenant – that she put the money in the drop box. She always pays with cash. And I don’t think it was an inside theft job by my employees. (Take my word on that, or not.)

My dad used to say, “Job one is getting the money in the bank.” He didn’t even trust drive-thru tellers. He always waited in line in the bank.

Another tenant put a money order in the same drop box, and that check is missing, as well. What’s happening here? I told the tenant to get a replacement money order. He said, “This sucks.” True. I apologized three times and told him to take $50 off his rent. So now I’m out $690 (= $640 + $50) for January.

I really wanted to write about bumping my head on a door jamb in Peru, but I’m too upset about this money thing to write about door jambs. I’m 5-8½. Bumping my head on a door jamb is new to me. A lot of people in Peru are short. I have a scab. In junior high I was the fourth-shortest boy in my class. Of about 165 boys, three were shorter: Krill, Kramer and Gold. (Kramer and Gold  became wrestling champs — 93 pound and 103-pound, or something like that.) At the start of high school (10th grade), I was five feet.

Back to money . . . My dad wouldn’t be happy with me today. This is the first time I’ve lost a rent payment in 43 years, to my knowledge. I’m thinking about video surveillance cameras.

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1 Mark R Schilling { 01.16.19 at 10:42 am }

I was of average height vis a vis other boys until the 8th grade, when I stopped growing at 5’7.” My younger brother Jeff, who I had lorded over since Day One, soon shot up past me. We had one last Battle Royale when I was fifteen and he was half a head taller, He fought me to a draw; thus do the mighty fall.

2 don friedman { 01.16.19 at 11:50 am }

Detective Friedman here: You can easily spot cash in a dropbox by shining a flashlight into it in complete darkness (someone told me). Her habit of always using cash was probably known by everyone. Time to get the fingerprint kit out! Or call my office.

3 Ken Goldberg { 01.16.19 at 12:42 pm }

How could the tenant put the $ in the box if the lock wasn’t broken?
I’d trust drive-thru tellers if the bank is right there, I suppose, but I sure don’t trust sending cash in the regular mail!

4 Dave Rowe { 01.19.19 at 9:49 am }

“The check’s in the mail” – you’ve probably heard that one.

5 jmu { 01.23.19 at 1:25 pm }

You should get a show on Amazon. Or Netlifx.

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